M. Lynn O’Donnell, Director of Marketing
Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, & Excellence are core values adopted by healthcare organizations. Employees are expected to adopt and embrace these core values as they engage with patients, families, and coworkers. However, ICARE is more than just a list of characteristics. It is a code of values by which organizations live by in order to provide the highest level of service possible in a hospital.
Values require more than signs and placards to come to life. They require an internal focus, the ability to determine areas that are deficient and areas that need some additional focus. How does an organization try and implement an ICARE culture: with Rounding.
An ICARE program needs to be monitored and adjusted to ensure it is working properly and meeting the requirements. Without constant and consistent monitoring, issues cannot be identified and corrected. Healthcare organizations can create templates for use in the observation process. As a part of Rounding, an organization should have access to a database of questions from which they can create observations or rounds. Rounds should address items such as:
- We adhere to the highest of ethical standards.
- We treat everyone with empathy, courtesy, sincerity, respect, and dignity.
- We always greet visitors and introduce ourselves professionally, establishing a duration, providing an explanation and saying “Thank You”.
- We observe all infection control measures, as the consequences of noncompliance can lead to adverse patient outcomes.
- We believe that cleanliness and hygiene are not just matters of appearance, but are also safety issues of the utmost importance.
- When a patient is transported from department to department, we adhere to the safe hand-off policy.
Once a deficiency or non-compliance is discovered, a procedure should be in place to address and re-train team members. In addition, organizations can cross check results with other rounding data such as infection control rounds.
With any process, tracking and trending the results can help with continuous improvement. Reports can help identify the most deficient departments so leaders can identify in-service opportunities for educating on ICARE processes to increase compliance.